Process genre approach to L2 academic writing: An intervention study
Svetlana Hanusova – Olga Dontcheva-Navratilova – Marie Lahodova Valisova – Marketa Matulova
The paper presents the research study of academic writing of Czech university students in an English Language Teacher Education study program. The authors apply an interdisciplinary approach integrating the perspectives of linguistics and language pedagogy in the evaluation of the design of the Academic Writing course and its impact on the development of students’ academic writing skills. Adopting a process genre approach (Badger, White, 2000) to writing instruction as a key design principle, our study combines the genre analysis framework (Swales, 1990) and the intercultural rhetoric perspective (Connor, 2004) to design an innovated academic writing course for graduate students focusing on developing critical thinking skills and context-aware writing. The course, informed by an analysis of the academic writing needs of the students, aimed at familiarizing them with the rhetorical structure of academic texts with a focus on the genre of the Master’s thesis and at introducing them to the academic writing conventions in the area of soft sciences. Piloted in 2019, the course was implemented as a blended course, where the contact sessions were complemented by online support in VLE Moodle. Apart from analyses of written texts, classroom writing, and homework tasks, it also included discourse editing tasks and peer-reviewing with peer-reviewer feedback and teacher feedback. We believe that our research findings will shed light on the potential of academic writing courses based on the process-genre approach to contribute to the enhancement of the quality of English academic texts by non-native academic writers, and specifically Czech graduate students.
Key words: academic writing, blended learning, process-genre approach, needs assessment, discourse completion tasks